Most firms on freelance marketplaces don’t want to hire a Web designer until they’ve seen excellent samples of previous work. How do you start a web design business with little?
How can you build a portfolio when you have nothing to show for yourself? How do you get clients if nobody knows about your business yet?
These are all questions that many aspiring designers ask themselves.
In this blog post, I will give some advice on how to overcome these challenges and help take your career in the direction of success!
Let’s get started
- 1 How to start from scratch with no portfolio and little experience
- 1.1 Work for your family, friends, or colleagues
- 1.2 Designing your own website
- 1.3 Setting up a business plan for success
- 1.4 Managing time wisely as a freelancer
- 1.5 Become expert (Polish your skill from time to time)
- 1.6 Establish Yourself as an Authority
- 1.7 Build a Good Relationship within your Niche
- 1.8 Satisfy your Clients
- 1.9 Learn How to deal successfully when things go wrong
- 1.10 Handling client complaints effectively
- 1.11 Conclusion
How to start from scratch with no portfolio and little experience
There are a variety of methods to start a web design firm without a portfolio. It is true that it is hard to get the first project on any freelance marketplace but if you think out of the box and put in some creative effort, you’ll get your first client fast. After that, creating an attractive portfolio will be pretty much easy.
Work for your family, friends, or colleagues
Web design is something that every single business needs these days. This means that someone in your friends and family circle might need help building a website. So, at first work for your family and friends. Offer them personalized deals for their websites, which are cheaper than market rates, so they’ll have no objections.
This way, you can build your portfolio without any hesitation or apprehension that comes from the idea of working with strangers who may not be happy with your work. You can also use this time to hone your skillset by giving each interaction additional attention and care.
Now you might be wondering how to figure out who among my relatives, friends, and colleagues requires a website?
The best way to find out is to put it out on social media, or wherever your family, friends are active via the internet it can be WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. that you are starting a web design business with no portfolio. This is how your colleagues, friends, family, mentors, and anybody else who else needs a website will contact you.
Designing your own website
There’s no rule that says the portfolio projects you show have to be from actual clients. So when you’re just starting your web design business with no portfolio, it can pay off big if you design your own website and show it to people as a sample of your work.
By practicing on your own website, you can polish your skills as a good web designer. This way you can show your potential clients what they will be getting if they hire you, which is exactly the kind of reassurance and peace-of-mind one needs when looking for a website design freelancer to work on their project with no portfolio.
While designing your Website Do not forget to mention that you are looking for clients. You can even put a little widget at the top of your site or in one corner which would be advertising yourself as “looking for projects” with your brand name or link to your Freelance marketplace or Social media Profile whatever you use to sell Web designing services.
Do Free Work
Well, this is something which is not recommended but if you aren’t been able to get your first project from your friends, family circle and you don’t have resources and enough money to buy a domain and hosting to build a Website pr you don’t want to spend money then this might be the only way out. You can offer free work to local businesses which you think need help with their website design and such as cafes, restaurants, etc.
This is a very risky approach but if it works for you it can give big results in terms of portfolio projects and publicity.
After, getting a Client or building your own website next step is
Setting up a business plan for success
Setting up a business plan for success means you need to do some planning. You should be able to predict what would happen if you offer your services at X price, or how much time it will take for you to complete a project of this kind, and so on.
This is the best way out when selling web design without a portfolio because having proper research done can help better plan things ahead which is something that is very important in case you are a freelance web designer.
Managing time wisely as a freelancer
When you are providing services as a freelancer it is important to provide services at a fixed time and get things done in haste.
This is important because if you are providing services to many clients, it can be difficult for your work schedule looks over-busy all the time without any breaks. So, always manage your tasks well so that you have enough time in hand to complete each one of them with the care and attention they deserve.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you deliver work earlier than clients’ expectations.
This is the best way out when you are freelancing because it will make up for more sales which means good money in return. It also creates a sense of trust and reliability on your part with regards to getting work done at a fixed time without any complaints or issues, which can be very difficult if you don’t manage your tasks well enough.
Become expert (Polish your skill from time to time)
In freelancing it is important to polish your skills from time to time and as Web designers try to learn more coding languages to become advanced. It is important to keep up with the times and upgrade your skillset as needed, keeping an eye out for any new trends in Web design so that you can incorporate them into your work if need be.
In that way, you can create an identity for yourself as a very flexible freelancer who is always ready to take up any challenge that comes your way.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
Establishing yourself as an authority figure in the niche you’re targeting can help you sell high-quality work and also get referrals, which can lead to more business in the end.
This is important because if your clients know that you are an authority figure they will always come back to you for any future projects and refer their friends who might need a website made or redesigned as well.
Build a Good Relationship within your Niche
While establishing yourself as an authority figure it is important to build relationships with other sellers or websites/organizations/companies who want to work with you.
These relationships can help you get more clients in the long run which means more money earned. It also makes it easier for your work to reach a larger audience, and that way you will be able to cater to many different types of people who might need websites designed or redesigned as well.
Satisfy your Clients
As a freelance always make sure clients are satisfied with your work so they’ll continue working with you and recommend you to their friends and family.
A good way of doing this is offering discounts and bonuses for loyal clients, which can make your business more popular in the long run even if it means less profit per client on average. It’s a small price to pay for maintaining positive relationships with people who might become very important down the line since they might recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
Learn How to deal successfully when things go wrong
It is important to learn how to deal successfully when things go wrong because there will definitely be times when clients might not like your work and reject it.
This is very important because you don’t want to waste too much time on a project that cannot bring in any profit, so knowing how to deal with this situation effectively can help save up more time for other projects which are far more likely to succeed if handled correctly.
The best way to learn is by learning from others, how other people handled similar situations, and learning from them. But the most important thing is not to give up on clients who might have rejected their website at first because there’s always another project around the corner that can bring you a lot of profit.
Handling client complaints effectively
Handling client complaints effectively is very important for a freelancer because you want to maintain a good reputation throughout the industry.
If your client complaints are handled well, it can help create trust and reliability between clients who might become your repetitive client.
Marketing Yourself Online
You can also use Adwords, Google ads to advertise yourself online as well. You can show off some of the websites you made that helps market your skillset better so people will learn about you and recommend you later on down the line.
Maintaining a balance between life and work
It is very important to maintain a balance between life and work when you’re freelance because there will be times when work might get overwhelming and cause stress.
This is important because if your life starts to feel like a burden, that can affect the quality of your work and your mental strength too. So it’s always better to maintain a balance between life and work.
In this blog post, we have covered a wide range of topics from the very basics to some more advanced tips for starting your freelance web design business. We hope that you now feel equipped with all the information and advice needed to take those first steps towards launching your own freelancing career as a designer.
Just remember that planning is key when starting any new project!
If you have anything to share or have any questions feel free to comment below!